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DC Police Chief: Misinformation Swirling in Killing of 13-Year-Old Karon Blake Is

D.C.’s police chief made a passionate plea on Tuesday for people to stop spreading misinformation about the fatal shooting of a 13-year-old boy in Northeast.

A man shot and killed Karon Blake in the 1000 block of Quincy Street NE in the Brookland neighborhood about 4 a.m. Saturday after the man heard noises and saw someone who appeared to be “tampering with a vehicle,” D.C. police said.

The resident stepped outside armed with a legally registered gun, and after an interaction with the teen, opened fire, according to police. Neighbors said they heard four to five gunshots during the incident.

Police said the man performed CPR on Blake after shooting him. Blake died a short time later at a hospital.

The man has not been arrested or charged in Blake’s death. D.C. Police Chief Robert Contee III said in a news conference Tuesday afternoon that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was also investigating the case and, eventually, all of the facts will go before a grand jury.

Contee was fired up as he spoke to reporters, and said he held the news conference to “correct the misinformation that is swirling throughout the community.”

“Too many people have made assumptions about this case and it’s dangerous,” he said.

He said people are making allegations centered around race, and photos are circulating on social media of innocent people who have been accused in the killing.

Contee said those accusations were false and that the man involved is African American.

“I think it’s getting really reckless and dangerous with some of the behavior that I’m seeing. We normally do not identify people … in this similar situation unless we have a warrant in hand for that person, or unless there’s a person who we are trying to identify and we don’t know who that person is. That is not what we’re dealing with here,” Contee said.

The man who shot Blake has been cooperative with police, and has retained a lawyer, Contee said.

Police say a homeowner fatally shot 13-year-old Karon Blake Saturday in Northeast after seeing someone tampering with a vehicle about 4 a.m. News4’s Aimee Cho has the latest on the investigation and how loved ones and people at Brookland Middle School are remembering the boy.

Officers found a stolen car near the scene, which they believe Blake had used, police said.

Blake was a student at Brookland Middle School.

“He was a quiet and inquisitive scholar who loved fashion and football. Although he loved his neighborhood, he loved Brookland MS (the faculty & his peers) and the structure it presented to him even more. He leaves behind his mom and three younger siblings,” Brookland Middle School Principal Kerry Richardson said.

Parents and residents News4 spoke with struggled to comprehend the killing.

“I understand that people have a right to protect their property, but to go out and shoot somebody who’s not doing anything to you, is, I don’t think that’s acceptable,” parent Chia Ukeekwe said.

“Vigilante behavior is not the way to go about it,” said Frankie Seabron of a new group called DC Safety Squad, which is working to support Karon’s family. “We really should value people more than we value property.”

“If you feel there is a public safety issue in or around your home, call 911. That is the appropriate thing to do,
to call 911,” D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said Monday when asked about the shooting.

Richardson said the school would offer mental health support to students and faculty on Monday. They will also hold a staff huddle to honor Blake’s life.

D.C. Council member Christina Henderson tweeted that she would be checking in with D.C. Public Schools and the Department of Behavioral Health to ensure that Brookland Middle School has proper support.

“Property is not greater than life. Karon should be alive today,” Henderson tweeted.

Ward 5 Council member Zachary Parker released a statement saying, in part, “No car or material possession is worth a life – under any circumstance. I join Ward 5 residents in calling on the MPD and the U.S. Attorney’s office to hold accountable the individual who took Karon’s life.”

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